Watercress Substitute: Top 8 Choices
Watercress is easily one of the healthiest greens out there with tons of benefits as it’s rich in antioxidants, and vitamins, including vitamin K that is necessary for healthy circulation.
However, whether you’ve run out of watercress or you’re looking for a more palatable substitute for watercress in your recipe, this article will have you covered!
What Does Watercress Taste Like?
Raw watercress has a strong taste; however, older plants may be somewhat bitter. It gives a hint of pepper and also some mustard and wasabi overtures.
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There are several alternatives to be used instead of watercress, so keep on reading for a brief look at 8 options to choose your best watercress substitute from:
This one is also known as “rucola”, “roquette”, or simply “rocket”! The leafy green has a peppery flavor similar to the ones found in mustard, making it a great alternative if you’re looking for a substitute for watercress in salads.
You can also use arugula leaves and seeds with pizzas, pasta, and burger patties for the same purpose.
If you want to enjoy another leafy green that isn’t only equally delicious but also highly nutritious, you might want to consider spinach.
The iron-rich leafy greens have a different taste profile from watercress but are less pungent and peppery, making it ideal for those who don’t enjoy that part. You can also add some black pepper to make up for the lack of pungency.
3. Nasturtium Leaves
Nasturtium leaves are among the closest alternatives to watercress, as they both have just about the same texture as well as aroma and taste.
The only drawback here is that nasturtium leaves are quite rare, so there’s a good chance that you may not have them in your pantry as well.
4. Dandelion Green
Another fairly unique alternative to watercress that also happens to be quite nutritious and good for your overall health is dandelion greens.
In fact, a lot of people substitute watercress with dandelion greens even when they have watercress because it simply tastes a lot better.
However, make sure that you’re picking the greens from young leaves because they’re not as bitter as the older ones.
5. Radish Sprouts
Radish sprouts are quite pungent, which gives the same effect as watercress in many recipes, especially sandwiches and green salads.
Not only that, but they’re also highly nutritious, so you won’t be missing out on those vitamins and antioxidants!
Lettuce is a fairly mellow alternative to watercress, which makes it suitable for those who don’t like watercress’s pungent flavor in their salads and sandwiches. Lettuce also gets along pretty well with these recipes, so it won’t feel like an odd addition.
Kale is large and leafy and is closely related to cabbages. Unlike many of the previously mentioned alternatives that are milder than watercress, kale is significantly more bitter, so it’s ideal for those who aren’t satisfied with the strong taste of watercress.
However, if you’re substituting to match the same taste, you shouldn’t add too much kale to the recipe. About 50% of the recommended watercress should do.
8. Chinese Cabbage
There are tons of variants of cabbages out there and some of them are excellent substitutes for watercress.
Yet, the closest and best options here should be Chinese cabbage, especially if you’re cooking Asian recipes like kimchi.
Is it safe to eat raw watercress?
It is safe to munch on raw watercress, but it should be washed first.
How do I wash watercress?
Wash the leaves thoroughly by rinsing them under running tap water. This removes any dirt or debris.
How long does watercress last?
Freshly picked watercress has a shelf life of around 2 weeks. However, once it starts wilting, it loses its nutrients and becomes unappealing. So, keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Is Watercress a Superfood?
Like most green foods, watercress has lots of vitamins and minerals. While I have not heard it referred to as a superfood, it is certainly good for you.
Is Watercress Bitter
Yes, old watercress can be very bitter depending on how aged the leaves are. If you want to use it in a salad, then you should rinse use fresh and young watercress. Also, cooking makes it bitter.
Is Watercress Better Than Kale
Watercress has even more nutrients than kale! It contains vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 ( Kale contains more riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin Watercress contains less iron than kale.
Is watercress better than Rocket
Watercress contains a more significant quantity of vitamin K than rocket lettuce.